Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cakes and jugs and plants

I've just come in from the garden because it was beginning to get dark. Not terribly dark - still light enough to read, if not perhaps tiny print, but twilightish, though the sky was still pale. It's six minutes past eleven now. When I came inside, the family had lights on and it suddenly looked much darker outside. I love these long light evenings in Scotland, though we pay for them in the winter with short days and long dark nights.

Above, you see some big pompoms of alliums. Below, hostas and heucheras. I love the contrast in leaf colour and shape. But can you see the snail holes on the hostas? And this is one of the less chewed ones...

It's been a bit of a frustrating day. In the morning, I took my mum out shopping - which was fine. I always take her out on Saturdays, partly to give her a bit of time away from my dad, who has always been rather irascible and is not any less so now that he's 86. Also it gives her a chance to chat to someone (me) who is a) interested and b) not deaf. (Yet.)

In the afternoon, however, I decided to start to get organised for their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary, which is on June 29th. (60 years of really not getting on very well, but still, it's an achievement of sorts. Well, it's a huge achievement, actually, putting up with my dad and not attacking him even once with a blunt intrument.) It's hard to know what to give people who don't need anything, but I'd decided on a commemorative jug with their names and so on. I'd established from their website that Bridgewater Pottery would do one with hearts on it and the requisite lettering - a pint and a half capacity, for £50. Seemed reasonable. They have a shop in Edinburgh, so off I went to order it. On the way, I went to the Cake and Chocolate Shop in Bruntsfield to discuss having a cake made. Its website said it was open till 5, so I arrived at 4.30. And guess what? It was shut. Sigh.

So I then went to the pottery shop (open till 6) and yes, it was open, but no, they no longer do that jug, only a six pint one for £70 plus £1 for every letter (and I wanted 45 letters) of the inscription. Six pints! Who wants a decorative souvenir-type jug holding six pints? Well, a pub celebrating its centenary, maybe, but not an 84-year-old lady who's going to display it on her dresser.

So I came home and, after spending a long time on the internet, I started to come to the conclusion that - though there are many many potters who'll do you a personalised plate - there was a definite gap in the market for personalised jugs. Which either meant that no one but me likes jugs or that I had a last found the way to make my fortune. Or at least, this could be the way if I knew how to make jugs and wasn't so averse to getting my hands all covered with clay. Yuck.

But then I at last found a site with what looked like just the right sort of thing. They'll take commissions. So I emailed them. Ah, the joys of modern technology. They didn't seem to mention prices, which was a bit ominous, but let's be optimistic.

Which I generally am, about most things, though possibly not about snails and hostas.


  1. Ugh - blogger just ate my comment! Naughty blogger!

    Forgive my short comment now, but I'll try to paraphrase since I'm in a bit of a hurry:

    - Your hosta looks like the same variety as the ones I have! We don't have slugs, but hail does make similar holes, unfortunately.

    -I'm sorry about your jug fiasco!

    - Your alliums are very pretty, as well as the coral bells? next to your hostas. The dark foliage is such a nice contrast to the creamy hostas.

  2. I hate it when you have the exact gift (or dress or shoes or couch) in mind and then can't find it anywhere anymore!

    I have about 50 hostas -- the deer chow down on mine. Luckily they're pretty close to the house and the deer are too scared to come that close very often.